We’re excited to introduce you to Spitfire House, soon to be the new home of National Veterinary Services (NVS) and Headquarters for the NVS Group.
Our new state-of-the-art facility is specially designed with cutting-edge technology and an enhanced infrastructure that will allow us to expand our range of products and services. These modern, purpose-built premises also enable us to streamline our operations and ensure greater efficiencies; making it possible for NVS to maintain our position as the leading wholesaler in the industry and strengthen our commitment to delivering a positive difference to animal health through high-quality products and services.
Take a tour of Spitfire House
At over 250,000 square feet (or 23,000m²), Spitfire House more than doubles our current warehousing and distribution capacity. Click on the image below for a full tour of our new facilities, or read on for a few of the key highlights that show how we are improving our operations and how our customers will benefit.
Features of our new facility:
Automated picking system and warehouse track
We have a state-of-the-art, high-performance warehouse track and automated picking system that has been installed by Knapp. For items not suited to automated picking, our pickers will be using handheld scanners.
Increased picking accuracy and order security
The automated picking system is one of the most accurate and efficient systems on the market today and is capable of handling over 13,000 SKUs and is a fully paperless system. Throughout the picking process, the system weighs each tote to ensure it matches the expected weight of the contents. Any discrepancies will then be manually checked.
Once each tote box is filled the contents are photographed, paired with the dispatch note and then fitted with a banded seal to ensure it cannot be tampered with before it is delivered to you.
Fast and accurate batch tracking
The automated system also provides batch management capabilities unrivalled in our industry today.
More efficient flow of products into and out of the warehouse
The new facility benefits from segregated goods in and goods out docking bays. This separation of working flows ensures both activities are able to operate to maximum efficiency and will enable the goods in delivery window to be extended.
Additionally, the dock loaders mean that the HGVs can back right up to the facility. This ensures that products being off-loaded or loaded are not exposed to the elements and can be moved seamlessly between our temperature-controlled warehouse and the temperature-controlled vehicle.
Increased storage area
A very narrow aisle racking area, or VNA for short, allows us to store goods on racks up to 14m in height and provides us with around 20,000 pallet locations. As with the rest of the warehouse, this area is temperature controlled to around 20°C and features energy-efficient LED lighting fitted with PIR sensors.
Veterinary Practice Premises size doubled to expand direct-to-customer offering
At more than double our previous Veterinary Practice Premises space, our new Veterinary Practice Premises has a purpose-built layout and links directly with our automated picking system. This integration enhances efficiency and will allow us to expand our direct-to-customer offering, allowing parasiticides, therapeutics and a large range of diet products to be delivered directly to your client’s door.
A thermally efficient cold chain solution
Our new facility features a dedicated cold store equipped with two dedicated dock levellers allowing direct access for refrigerated trailers to unload into the cold store area. The trailers will link to the cold store with a seal to ensure a consistent temperature is maintained. The cold store also features a large, combined picking and packing area, to maximise the efficiency of the cold chain process.
As a company that believes in putting people first, NVS has invested in creating a pleasant working environment for all staff. Our modern, spacious offices provide ample room for our teams to collaborate, with numerous meeting facilities and quiet areas.
Welfare blocks provide modern facilities including private and spacious washroom solutions, shower rooms and staff lockers. Whilst a canteen and micro market offer a welcoming space for staff to take a break or have lunch. On a pleasant summer day, there is also the option of taking a break in our staff garden area towards the rear of the facility, this will be developed and maintained by the creation of our very own gardening club.
Sustainability – delivering a greener pawprint
Right from the beginning, Spitfire House was designed with sustainability in mind. It has been constructed to achieve an ‘Excellent’ rating in the BREEAM building sustainability assessment method – placing it within the top 10% of new non-domestic buildings in the UK. It’s a huge step forward in our commitment to delivering a greener pawprint.
Look out for our next blog post to find out more about how Spitfire House allows us to put more of our sustainability aspirations in place.
Where is our new site located?
Spitfire House is strategically located in Stoke-on-Trent, just four miles from our current site; allowing us to serve our customers across the UK efficiently and effectively. It also ensures the retention of our committed and passionate team.
Our new address: NVS, Spitfire House, Iron Place Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 5FG.
Why is it called Spitfire House?
Well, it couldn’t be called anything else really, as when you drive towards our new facilities, you will be greeted by the stunning spitfire sculpture that you can see in the image above. Installed on the roundabout outside our site, the artwork is a tribute to North Staffordshire’s own Reginald Mitchell, the talented engineer who designed the Spitfire back in 1936. Now synonymous with the Battle of Britain, the spitfire was a symbol of British resistance to Nazi Germany during World War II and remains a huge source of pride for the people of Stoke-on-Trent.
The transition to Spitfire House
The transition to a new warehouse and distribution centre is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. Rest assured, we have put extensive plans in place for the transition to our new facility, and we are confident that we will be able to manage this transition successfully whilst continuing to provide the highest level of service to our customers.